National and international attention for pioneering Donegal Diaspora App

Rosita Mahony providing an overview of Ireland’s Call App on the European Stage
Rosita Mahony providing an overview of Ireland’s Call App on the European Stage

In a world where digital connections are becoming increasingly vital in linking businesses, sharing information and engaging with people, the work of Rosita Mahony, GIS & Research Co-ordinator Donegal County Council, is gaining considerable national and international attention.

Having developed an app for Donegal County Council’s Diaspora Project to connect and engage with the Global Irish abroad, Rosita has received a high level of interest for her pioneering and ground-breaking work.

Her app ‘Ireland’s Call to Return its Global Diaspora Home’ caught the attention of Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan at the Tipp O’Neill Annual Irish Diaspora Award, as a unique way of engaging and digitally connecting with the Diaspora community. Rosita subsequently was asked to attend a meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs hosted by Minister Deenihan, T.D., and Minister for Research, Innovation and Skills Damien English T.D., with representatives from relevant Government Departments and key stakeholders who are developing a national collaborative initiative to attract skilled Diaspora back to Ireland.

The timelines and relevance of the App was recognised by ESRI Ireland where Rosita was awarded overall winner in the highly competitive ‘Maps make sense challenge’. Her thought, input and analysis gained considerable interest among international mapping communities and an invite was extended by the world renowned GIS evangelist Bern Szukalski to present on the European stage at ESRI’s Conference in Salzburg.  Bern added that ‘Rosita’s passion for her work was very evident and many commenting that it was among the best they had ever seen. I really appreciated her tradecraft behind the maps that she authored and her creativity in putting it all together’.

Rosita explains that the app’s purpose is to bring the Global Irish on a journey in understanding the economic facts of why they had to leave Ireland due to the recession in 2008 and with the dawn of the economic recovery to provide information relevant to their decision to return home. Part of her research led to the development of the Global Skills Locator, a novel and unprecedented way to link people to job opportunities back home. The Global Skills Locator will be promoted and marketed to a generation now living abroad, who are social media savvy.  Rosita explains more here:

Rosita is excited about the long term potential of this app which will form an integral part of the national response in digitally connecting with the Diaspora abroad. Furthermore, it will provide policy makers with the ability to turn these digital connections into personal ones with the return of the necessary skills required to enrich the talent pool in Ireland’s growing economy.